Best places for interesting kayaking experiences in Vietnam

Kayaking is truly one of the best ways to enjoy Vietnam’s most beautiful natural seascapes. Visitors can arrange to kayak on the crystal-clear waters of beautiful Ha Long Bay, charming Lan Ha Bay, or the tranquil beaches of Phu Quoc to gain the ultimate feeling of discovering unknown places.

Kayaking is a boating sport, paddling in 1-2 seat boats with decks covering the paddler’s legs, using two paddles to propel and direct the kayak. Originally, this physical outdoor activity was only popular in the US and Europe, but kayaking has gradually become more popular globally as it offers exciting opportunities to tourists visiting aquatic areas such as lakes, rivers, and the sea. While kayaking, you have the chance to enjoy the stunning natural surrounding landscapes and breath the fresh air at your own pace. In addition, you can organize kayaking races with friends and family to have an unforgettably enjoyable time. Here are our recommended kayak spots:

Tu San Alley – Nho Que River (Ha Giang)

Lying along Nho Que River (Ha Giang Province) and situated in the middle way of Dong Van and Meo Vac, Tu San stretches 1.7km with cliffs as high as 700 - 800 meters. It is the deepest chasm in Southeast Asia and the most breathtaking one in Vietnam.

From Dong Van, you will first reach Ta Lang on the Happiness Road before encountering the Nho Que River and Tu San chsm. The road connecting to the river is windy and quite challenging to walk. There are kayaks and motorboats for rent at the docks. It would be best to call them in advance to avoid disappointment. Kayaking over the charming Nho Que River, visitors will have the rare opportunity to enjoy the amazing limestone chasm while enjoying the fresh air and tranquil atmosphere. In spring (during February and March), the riverbanks become colorful with the red rice flowers reflecting the emerald water, creating magical scenery.

Ha Giang trip

Source: Umove Travel & Outdoor Gear Youtube Channel

Ba Be Lake (Bac Kan)

Located on the height of 150m above sea level and encircled by 450-million-year ranges of mountains, Ba Be Lake, one of the largest primitive freshwater lakes in the North of Vietnam, is granted by UNESCO as one of 20 beautiful freshwater lakes that need to be protected and developed.

One of the largest primitive freshwater lakes in the north of Vietnam, is designated by UNESCO as one of 20 freshwater lakes that need to be protected.

Kayaking here, visitors can not only admire the gentle, crystal blue water and ancient trees reflected around the lake but also visit many interesting attractions such as Puong cave, Ban Cam village, and Dau Dang waterfall. On your journey, you can also explore the unique culture of the local villages of the Tay and Dao ethnic groups.

There are 4 main wharves in Ba Be Lake including Buoc Luom (Nang River), Keo Sluu, Choc Thep, and the ferry terminal located opposite Keo Sluu. Among them, Choc Thep wharf in Lake 1 is the place offering the largest number of kayak rentals.

Halong Bay

Located in Quang Ninh Province, Halong Bay is listed among the top 25 travel destinations in the world by National Geographic (USA) and the most attractive destination for kayaking enthusiasts by Wanderlust (United Kingdom).

Kayaking among the beautiful natural landscapes comprising more than 1,600 large and small islands with clear blue waters and a tranquil atmosphere, visitors will admire the towering limestone mountains at a close distance or to visit the underground caves. You can kayak to explore the fairy lakes, unique limestone stalactites formed millions of years ago, capture the nice photos of tropical fish and colorful coral reefs. Some well-known caves to be visited are Surprise Cave, Luon Cave, Bo Nau Cave, and Heaven Cave.

In Ha Long, it is very easy to rent a kayak for an adventurous experience. The popular spots that you can choose from include Cua Van, Hang Luon, Lam Bo, Hang Co, Vung Vieng, Cong Dam, and Ban Chan beaches.

Kayaking in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Lan Ha Bay (Hai Phong)

Neighbored with Ha Long Bay to the south, Lan Ha Bay located around Cat Ba Islands is the perfect choice for a hideaway place in the summer, especially for kayak lovers. Spreading over a total area of 7,000 hectares, the bay comprises more than 400 islands covered with evergreen trees, creating a magical natural landscape. Rowing through the small islands, you will easily see the beautiful coral reefs and lots of aquatic plants below the clear waters. From Cat Ba, visitors can begin the kayaking trip to discover the bay from Ba Trai Dao Island or Monkey Island.

Chay River – Dark Cave (Phong Nha – Ke Bang)

Belonging to Quang Binh Province, Chay River - Dark Cave is a famous site of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park. Originating from the Chay stream, the Chay River is nestled under majestic limestone mountains with sweeping cornfields alongside, creating an impressive natural landscape that attracts both domestic and international tourists.

Kayaking on the Chay River, flowing peacefully with turquoise water, you will go through ancient riverside villages such as Ha Loi, Phong Nha, Na, Tram, Me, and Chay Lap that preserve the unique cultural identity of the local people. You can also try the zipline or visit Dark Cave with numerous stalactites and home to many kinds of animals such as swallows and bats.

Phong Nha

Tuyen Lam Lake (Dalat)

Tuyen Lam Lake, surrounded by pine forests, boasts many small oases and is one of 21 National Tourist Resorts in Vietnam. Kayaking on this lake is a new experience enjoyed by many visitors to to Dalat. During the months from October to December, when the maple leaves turn red, is the best time to visit the lake and enjoy its amazing natural beauty. Visitors can also participate in other interesting activities such as strawberry and peach picking and exploring the Tuyen Lam forest.

Sao Beach (Phu Quoc Island)

Located in the town of An Thoi in the south of the island, Sao Beach is not only known as the most beautiful beach in Phu Quoc but also the most ideal destination for aquatic activities, including kayaking. Paddling in the midst of the blue sea on a sunny day and enjoying a stress-free moment, you will be immersed in nature and temporarily forget your busy daily life. You can also experience kayaking in Long Beach, which provides plenty of open space for you to enjoy.

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